4 Ways to Help a Struggling Coworker

When you spend 40+ hours a week with the same group of people, you can’t help but form bonds. Shared experiences like laughing at office-related inside jokes, dealing with tough bosses, and frequenting favorite lunch spots can turn colleagues into personal friends.

You may even come to know about your coworkers’ lives outside of the office. In the modern workplace, it’s not uncommon to spend time with your coworkers outside the office at happy hours and fitness classes or know about (or even meet) their kids, spouse, and friends.
Continue Reading


Older Americans Are More Prone to Substance Abuse

In 1998, government officials warned of a dire trend that we’ve only recently began to take note of. It wasn't an asteroid hurtling toward earth or the ever-growing impact of humans on the climate. It was elder substance abuse.

In the late 1990s, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) already was predicting the drastic increase in alcohol and drug abuse among adults 60 years old and up.

Close to twenty years later, we don’t know much more than we did in 1998.
Continue Reading


Why Psychologists are Starting to Care About Sleep Apnea

Sleep has always been an integral part of mental health, but now there is more reason than ever to consider an interrelation between the two. Recent studies, such as the one cited in a previous Psych Central article, have confirmed a strong correlation between depression and the prevalent disorder of sleep apnea. There are also connections between sleep apnea and other aspects of mental health, as well as reasons why the psychology field should familiarize itself with the symptoms of this disorder.

Though commonly mistaken for mere snoring, sleep apnea is a serious medical condition characterized by brief pauses in breath during sleep. The cessation of breathing prevents the sleeper from inhaling oxygen and can lead to a multitude of health complications that range from insomnia and high blood pressure to tumor growth and a higher cancer risk. Moreover, sleep apnea is not a rarity. In America alone, over 14 million people suffer from sleep apnea but do not know it.

Continue Reading


Why We Love Cats: What Felines Can Teach Us About Affection

Do you adore cats? Why do we find these feline creatures so irresistible?

Perhaps like myself, you’ve owned a cat -- or more likely, been owned by one. You know the joy that cats can bring, even when they’re deliciously obnoxious. What is it about cats that captures our hearts and enslaves us through their charm?

What follows can also be applied to dogs. I appreciate dogs, but I'm a cat person, so I'm focusing here on cats.

Continue Reading
Comment Announcement


Is My Massage Therapist Judging My Body?

In the dim room I’m told to undress to my comfort level. When the therapist gets to my legs I blurt out, “Sorry they’re not shaved. I have a waxing appointment tomorrow.” She runs her forearm up the back of my thigh and I imagine my pockets of cellulite coagulating.

I imagine she’s observing my fat and judging me.

For anyone who’s ever struggled with body image, those words burn with an astute reflection. There were years when I constantly thought that people were observing my body and judging me.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Musical Intervention: From Calming Nerves to Weaning Patients Off Ventilators

Music can be a powerful tool. We use it to self-soothe, to brighten our walk to the store, to iron out frayed nerves, and to cut loose.

Because music can elicit a particular emotion at any given time, it can be an effective coping strategy. Music therapy can lead to stress reduction and ease depression symptoms. Our musical taste can even tell us more about ourselves and help us to work through emotions. But can music help us heal? The results of a new study suggest it can.

Continue Reading


Handling Stress Without Reducing or Avoiding It

Most of us know that stress is bad. It’s hard to go a week or maybe even a day without hearing how terrible stress is for us. Stress causes high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, chest pain and other health problems.

Maybe for you, it’s even hard to go a week or a day without feeling stressed. Maybe you feel worn-out, overwhelmed and defeated because of stress. You don't need to read the articles, because you can feel the negative effects.

But here’s something that might surprise you: Stress isn’t all bad. In fact, it can be beneficial. And by revising our view of stress, we can reap the rewards.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

5 Ways to Help Your Child Through Trauma

Something traumatic is bound to happen to your child as he or she grows up. Whether they need surgery, sustain an injury, lose a family member, or worse, these events have the potential to make your child stronger and bring you closer to them. It all depends on your reaction.

Traumatic events do not guarantee that your child will become traumatized. Here are several ways to help your child through these difficult times:

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: May 30, 2015

This week's Psychology Around the Net will teach you about the connection between personal scents and happiness, how brain stimulation techniques might treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, the similar effects between oxytocin and alcohol, and more.

Do People Transmit Happiness by Smell? Using scent samples, new research shows you could pick up on others' positive emotions through their sweat.

Continue Reading


Dying Well: How to Have the Hardest Conversation

All of us live in a bubble, an illusion of safety and security that our lives will continue along a single, set trajectory of our own choosing. Sadly, life is rarely cooperative. We hit bumps in our relationship. Our bodies become the victims of a disease. We get into a car accident. We lose a friend.

One of the hardest conversations to have with someone is when something happens that compromises a person's health. It could be cancer, it could be an auto accident or some other injury. Or it could be the result of simply aging and getting to a point where your body starts to give out. How does the person want the last days of their life to be?

How do you have the hardest conversation about dying -- and dying well -- with a loved one?

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

How to Cut Cravings


Chips and dip.

Ruffles and onion dip, to be precise. Yeah. I could go for some of that right now.

Seems like every afternoon I’m seeking something salty. The latest food craving.

Other times it’s ice cream after I get my daughter in bed. Sometimes it is pasta.

While I don’t believe in abstinence -- meaning if my body feels like eating a particular type of food, I’m likely to eat at least a little bit of it -- I don’t want to be at the whim of my cravings, either.
Continue Reading